I like what Marshall Kirkpatrick has to say about launching a social network in today’s media environment.
Social networks have caught on for a reason – they offer functionality that’s very useful for a lot of people in many different communities of interest. That said, everyone is wary of copy-cat, roach-motel, me-too social networks. Why not have your cake and eat it too? By framing the extension of your existing site as just that, an extension of your existing users’ profile capabilities, instead of as a social network launch – you can make everyone happy and maintain your dignity.
He also has some interesting things to offer on while labeling a soc net.
You could build your own social networking functionality for your site, but chances are that’s not your area of expertise. In that case, you may want to let someone else do that for you. Check out KickApps, CollectiveX, Elgg, PeopleAggregator and the TechCrunch list of white label social network vendors.
There are enough white label social network options on the market that it should be a buyer’s market and vendors should be innovating rapidly to serve user needs and differentiate themselves.
I’m likin’ what I’m hearing because I’m intent on building a soc net for bars and those who frequent bars. If you have any advise for me concerning this project, or want to contribute in some way, please let me know.
George, you can be a charter member!